Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes is a book that warns us not to waste our lives on worthless things. It reminds us what is really important in life that results in living a meaningful life. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon teaches that in order to live a life that counts you must learn to value relationships over possessions. You must value people more than things. You must find joy in fellowship not pleasure. And Solomon makes this point in a simple, clear, and direct statement: “Two are better than one.”
Chuck Swindoll said it well, “Friendships must be cultivated. They don’t automatically occur when calamity strikes. And I have never heard of a rent-a-friend business either.” We cannot walk alone and expect everyone to come running to help when we fall. We need to cultivate friendships while on our feet; for two are better than one when we’ve fallen down.
In Genesis 11:1-9, it gives us the story of the first skyscraper, which was never completed. After the flood, God commanded the people to spread out and replenish the earth. But in prideful rebellion and sinful unbelief, they decided to stay together and build a tower that would reach into the heavens. And the Lord came down personally to put an end to it, declaring that nothing would be impossible to them because they worked together (Genesis 11:6). The suggestion of that story is that even the wrong plan can accomplish much when people work together. How much more is that so when the church gets together to do the will and work of God. Two are better than one when you go to work, for you get a greater reward for your labor.
Did you notice the progression of the Text? From two are better than one to three are even better than two. A single cord can hold up only so much. A double cord can sustain more weight. But a threefold cord can three times more than a single cord. It is not quickly broken. The last sentence of verse 12 reminds us again that there is great strength in spiritual unity.